May 22, 2017

How To Host: The Perfect Picnic

Today…we’re going on a picnic. The weather has warmed up, the farmer’s markets in full swing and we want to GET OUTSIDE!

Having a picnic with your friends is so easy…if you’re organized. Assume there is nothing at the park so you have to bring it all. If you come prepared, you’ll have the most fabulous time.

When I go on a picnic I like to pack a little lunch box for each of my friends so we’re not scrambling at the park with serving a lot of different dishes. I make sandwiches, pack up fruit and add a sweet treat.

Nothing compliments a picnic more perfectly than lemonade. I buy a store bought bottle and add in sliced strawberries, lemon rounds and a few sprigs of mint.

The cherries looked so perfect so I grabbed a bag and ditto for the mini apple pie that I found in the Union Square Farmer’s Market.

I couldn’t resist grabbing a bunch of lilacs to bring along with us. They smelled so amazing and looked so pretty on our picnic blanket.

Since there’s a lot to schlep over to the park when having a picnic, I ask my friends to meet me at my apartment so they can help carry all the supplies and we can walk to the park together.

I brought a long a few paper plates, plastic cups and a knife to cut the pie. I also brought a paper bag for our trash and of course blankets and pillows.

We may or may not have snuck in a few cans of bubbly…shhhh.  Keep that on the down low.

See how to host the perfect picnic with our latest “How to Host” video. Enjoy!

Tell us what you think about our Host to Host the perfect picnic video and we will draw one lucky person to win our GET OUTSIDE party in a box – shipped in a picnic basket! Winner will be announced on Wednesday May 24th at 3pm.  

xx, Seri
Party conversation
  1. Carly Jones

    I love a picnic. Most ppl think a sandwich and a blanket is enough but I love the extra touches like flowers (and bubbly).

  2. Celinda

    I have been dying to use my picnic basket ! Thanks for the idea … my cousin just had a baby last month and this could be just the right outing for us ! Thanks for the tip on the pie

  3. Michelle

    Love the video and this post. So many cute fun ideas for a picnic. Love the thought of bringing fresh flowers along!

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May 19, 2017

Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating

Now I know I’ve completely lost my mind and I’m sure you wanna know why.

I’ve been searching through archived photos of my food photography for the past few months, just came across these and guess what? I don’t even remember when I shot them. It was somewhere between 2014 and 2017. That’s all I know. The other thing I’m pretty certain about is this…..

These muffins were the bomb.

To narrow down the timeline, it’s clear that these were made during blueberry season (well duh, there’s a load of them in the recipe ,so this wasn’t something that I needed the FBI to figure out).

Anyhoo, you know how I feel about blueberries. They are plump jewels of happiness that make everything taste better. Especially when they burst out of a muffin and into your mouth.

Wait.

How about these roses? My husband is always a sucker for good foliage. He makes his way down to the flower markets whenever there is an occasion, like Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, my birthday or a just-because-I-love-you-day.

Let me tell you what he did for Mother’s Day.

Of course, he surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of roses, similar to the ones in these photos.

Then, he gave me a really cute card with an enclosed paper (hand made) puzzle. Yes, he made the puzzle out of letters that were my “clues” to my gift.

I had 10 minutes to piece together these letters, otherwise Steve informed me that the gift was NULL and VOID.

No pressure, right?

OMG, I suck at puzzles. I could never win Survivor. Plus I’m really bad in math, which has nothing to do with puzzles, but I just thought I would let you know that useless piece of information.

Oh, and we were in the car on our way to brunch when I opened my card. Steve set his iPhone timer for 10 minutes and yelled “GO!!!”

I was fiddling around with the stupid paper pieces for exactly 7 minutes, when he realized that he may have spelled the word wrong. Not surprising, since his spelling is comparable to my math skills. It’s a good thing we can assist each other with daily simple tasks because, really?

So now we are stopped at a red light, he grabs one of the squares of paper and scribbles over the letter making the correction.

I have 3 minutes left and I’m starting to shvitz (sweat).

I figured it out with a minute to spare and guessed it!

You won’t believe this one. He still spelled it wrong.

These where my letters:

L

O

S

V

E

G

A

S

How do you really spell it? Las Vegas.

Do I gamble? No. I hate losing money.

Do I need to go to Las Vegas now, with two weddings coming up this summer? No.

Can I try spelling something else with those letters and still get a gift? All I could figure out was LOVES GAS so maybe a gift certificate to ESSO might be another option. Okay Steve?

Here’s the moral of the story. No matter how you spell it, these Blueberry Oat Chia muffins are a sure bet.

BLUEBERRY OAT CHIA MUFFINS

– 2 extra large eggs
– ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
– 2 medium size, ripe bananas, mashed
– ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
– 1 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp baking soda
– ½ tsp ground cinnamon
– ¼ cup cup chia seeds
– ¾ cup quick oats
– 1 cup + 2 tbsp white whole wheat flour (or a mix of all purpose and whole wheat is fine too)
– 1½ cups cups fresh blueberries

1) Preheat your oven to 350F and prepare a 12 cup muffin pan by spraying with non stick cooking spray or lining them with paper liners. Set aside.
2) In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Whisk in the Greek yogurt, bananas,sugar, vanilla, baking soda, cinnamon, chia seeds and oats mixing until smooth.
3) Add in the flour and gently stir it in until just combined. DO NOT OVER MIX.
4) Toss the blueberries in 1 tablespoon of flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the muffins, then fold them into the batter.
5) Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, using an ice cream scoop. Fill them almost to the top. Sprinkle with additional oats if desired.
6) Bake for 20 -­ 22 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins begin to turn golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
7) Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely. These will keep well in an airtight container for up to 5 days or they freeze well for up to 3 months.

See you next week!

debi @simplybeautifuleating

xx, Debi
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May 18, 2017

Party down with Inspired by This

We recently sent the LMP Bachelorette Bash in a Box to the gals at Inspired by This and here’s what they came back to us with….fun, fun and more fun.

There are times when I think my heart may explode due to the extreme excitement that I feel when I see our party boxes set up so beautiful by our clients and peers. The girls…totally outdid themselves.

With donuts, champagne, CHEERS letters that they crafted and a stunning bar cart, they set our bachelorette box up for the perfect party.

After they set up this stunning bar cart, all that was left to do was pop some bubbly, toss some confetti and pose for photos… how cute are they?!?

Thanks to the ladies at Inspired by This for doing such a fab job featuring our Bachelorette Party in a Box! You can get your own here.

xx, Seri
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May 17, 2017

Chef Luke Makes Banana Chocolate Chip “Muffies”

My favorite thing about cooking with Chef Luke…is his excitement to cook each week. He is constantly thinking of new ideas for his show and gets overly excited to try new recipes. Being such a foodie myself I feel pretty darn lucky that my kids love to eat and cook as much as they do.

Today Chef Luke is making “Muffies”.  You may be asking yourself…what on earth is a Muffy? And is Seri spelling it right?

A Muffy is what Luke calls the tops of muffins. He gets a muffin every week before his soccer class…and rips off the top and leaves the bottom for the wolves. He named these muffin tops – Muffies.

So today…he’s making Muffies!  They are amazing.  Like banana chocolate chip muffin COOKIES. Yum!

Watch how Luke whips up these bad boys and you can find the recipe below.

Chef Luke’s Banana Chocolate Chip “Muffies”

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup salted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl, set aside.
2. In a medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar and whisk together.
3. In a large bowl combine mashed bananas, egg, milk and melted butter and stir.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly, mixing together so all is combined well.
5. Refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, then shape into large balls.
6. Bake on a greased baking sheet for 15-20 minutes. Do not over bake. Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooking rack to cool all the way.

xx, Seri
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May 16, 2017

Blackberry Wine Slushy

Wine in slushy form? Yes please. While brainstorming for cocktail ideas for this upcoming month, Maggie found the idea for a red wine slushy, and we knew we had to try it out.  We decided to put an LMP twist on it… instead of red wine, we used rosé!

Get ready for the prettiest summer cocktail you’ve ever seen, and that you will be dying to try!

Here’s what you need:

-rosé wine
-vodka
-orange juice
-blackberries
-ice
-fresh mint
-sugar
-fresh lemon, zested

Here’s what to do:

1) Take one of your fresh lemons and zest. Combine with sugar on a plate and mix until zest is evenly distributed. Use lemon wedge to wet the rim of your glasses, and place rim in sugar/ lemon zest mixture to line each rim.


2) Combine 1 cup ice, 1 oz. orange juice, 1.5 oz vodka, 5 oz. rosé, a handful of blackberries and a tbsp of sugar to a blender.  Blend until you reach a slushy consistency.


3) Pour mixture into each glass, careful not to get sugared rim wet.  Garnish with fresh blackberry and sprig of mint.

Until next week… Cheers!

Photos by Maggie Antalek

xx, Abby
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